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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Order Isopoda
Suborder Flabellifera
Family Cirolanidae

Cirolana (Anopsilana) yucatana Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 2000

Taxonomic Characterization: Body unpigmented, oval-shaped, lacking eyes. The cephalon is large, globose anteriorly; lateral margins oblique, slightly curved; posterior margin concave; rostrum small, triangular, in lateral view curved ventrally. Antennule with first two articles coalescent, reaching posterior margin of pereionite 2, flagellum composed of 10 articles. Antenna reaching distal margin of pereionite 4, peduncle with five articles, flagellum with 14 articles. Pereiopods with thick dactyli, decreasing in length posteriorly. Pleopods typical for Anopsilana. Uropods reaching slightly beyond posterior margin of pleotelson. Pleotelson slightly wider than long, lateral margins somewhat convergent, distal margin rounded (Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 2000).

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult female length to 5.9 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: 102 species, mostly marine intertidal or shallow water; in the subgenus Anopsilana, at least nine species (see list below) are stygobitic, while some others are stygophillic.

Genus Range: Worldwide marine distribution. Stygobitic species in the subgenus Anopsilana include:

  • Cuba: Cirolana (A.) cubensis Hay, 1903
  • Grand Cayman Island: Cirolana (A.) crenata (Bowman & Franz, 1982)
  • Haiti: Cirolana (A.) acanthura (Notenboom, 1981) and Cirolana (A.) radicicola (Notenboom, 1981)
  • Indonesia: Cirolana (A.) marosina Botosaneanu, 2003
  • Jamaica: Cirolana (A.) pleoscissa (Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 1997)
  • Madagascar: Cirolana (A.) poissoni (Paulian & Delamare Debouteville, 1956)
  • Palau: Cirolana (A.) lingua (Bowman & Iliffe, 1987)
  • Philippines: Cirolana (A.) conditoria (Bruce & Iliffe, 1992)
  • Yucatan, Mexico: Cirolana (A.) yucatana Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 2000

Species Range: Known only from Dzonotila, Mucuyche, Yucatan, Mexico.

Closest Related Species: C. (A.) yucatana shares traits with, but is distinct from, the other five peri-Caribbean species in the subgenus Anopsilana.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone cave

Ecology: This species was collected in the water column at depths ranging from 30 to 40 m. No halocline was recorded, the cave containing only freshwater. Associated fauna are the amphipod Tuluweckelia cernua, copepods, and stygiomysids (Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 2000).

Life History: No females with oostegites have been found. The male of this species remains unknown.

Evolutionary Origins: Cirolana (Anopsilana) yucatana is the first species of the subgenus Anopsilana to be described from Mexico and from a non-insular locality; the remainder of the species in the subgenus come from Cuba, Madagascar, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Palau Islands, the Philippines, Jamaica and Indonesia (Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 2000, Botosaneanu, 2003).

Conservation Status: Restricted to a single cenote in the state of Yucatan.


  • Botosaneanu, L. and T.M. Iliffe. 2000. Two new stygobitic species of Cirolanidae (Isopoda) from deep cenotes in Yucatan. Bulletin de L'Institute Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Biologie, 70:149-161, 30 figures.


Contributor: Lazare Botosaneanu, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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